Persian Voices: Tobacco Protest

It is clear enough that the concessionaire will commence the work with a small capital and will purchase the tobacco from the cultivators and sell it to the merchants and manufacturers for higher prices, and all the profits will remain in the pursue of the English. As the Persian merchants have no right to export tobacco from Persia, those who were formerly engaged in this trade will be obliged to give up their business and find some other work. The concessionaire does not take into consideration how many merchants who were engaged in this business will be left without employment and will suffer loss in finding other occupations.

Akhtar (Star) Newspaper


Abrahamian, Ervand.. (1983). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Pr., p.76.

Keddie, Nikki. (2016). Religion and Rebellion in Iran. The Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892. London: Routledge, p.49. Print


Editor’s Note: Akhtar (Star), a liberal Persian paper published in Istanbul expressed the general concern of Iranian merchants after a fifty-year monopoly over the exportation of tobacco. The arrival of company agents in April 1891 was met with a shutdown of the bazaar in Shiraz.